A crowd of 350 adults and children joined Chabad Lubavitch of North East London and Essex (Ilford) as they celebrated their annual "Chanukah on Ice" event.

Despite the thick fog and unusually cold temperatures of -2, excited families from all over Essex warmed themselves with an exciting evening of Jewish music, skating, dancing, singing and traditional latkes, doughnuts and piping hot homemade soup.

The yearly event is organized by Rabbi Aryeh and Devorah Sufrin MBE - Head Shluchim to the area and fellow Shluchim, Rabbi Moshe and Brocho Muller and Rabbi Odom and Henny Brandman, Shluchim to Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

This year they were joined by five Bochurim from the Yeshiva in Brunoy, France, who came to assist Chabad of Ilford with their wide range of Chanukah programs.

The Menorah was lit at the center of the ice-rink. The flames were kindled by Rabbi Moshe Muller, Rabbi Odom Brandman and other members of the community.

Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin MBE says that the annual event is a place where local Jews of all ages, friends and associates, gather in a social setting.

"Many in our area look forward to this event and gather for an evening of fun and a social get together in an exclusively Jewish environment," he explains. "This year I met a lady at the event, whom I had met 20 years earlier when she was in a relationship with a non-Jewish boy friend. Today she is married to a Jewish man, living in Israel and has two beautiful Jewish children. She told me, 'In the time of my darkness you were my Chanukah lights, I'm so grateful to you, thank you.'"